8

Tekkonkinkreet (2006) - dir. Maikeru Ariasu

The screencaps above don’t really let you in on just how intense this film is going to be. Studio 4°C’s animation is the best you’ll ever see. And I mean the best. The story follows two orphans named Black and White who form a street gang against other orphans and gangs alike. Throw in some police officers (some of whom are crooked), the Yakuza, a new crime figure named Snake, and some mystical beast named simply the Minotaur and the whole film spirals out of hand pretty quickly.

Clearly adapted from a much longer manga, Tekkonkinkreet never really bothers to slow down, Ariasu never stops long enough to let you catch up and the film may not make the most sense that first time through - but oh lord is the journey back into Treasure Town ever worth it.

In my opinion - Tekkonkinkreet is the most underrated film out there.

9.6

8

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) - dir. Hayao Miyazaki

Holy sensory overload Batman! Howl’s Moving Castle is a strange film that is bursting at the seams in an effort to contain its massive plot structure and beautiful animation. The strange thing about HMC is that somehow it works… even on the first go ‘round. Repeated viewings are recommended and you’ll probably want to watch it again anyway.

It’s a terrific story about accepting who you are, but thrown over an equally beautiful (yet gargantuan) allegory in a steampunk world complete with unexplained magic, and some of Ghibli’s most interesting side characters. There’s really a lot going on here (if that’s not clear by now, then this isn’t the film for you). And it works. Not all of it works to perfection, but somehow by Miyazaki’s meticulous hand it all comes together.

8.4

It’s not a comic book, it’s “Manga”.
It’s not a cartoon, it’s “Anime”.
It’s not homosexual, it’s “Yaoi”.
It’s not lesbian, it’s “Yuri”.
It’s not porn, it’s “Hentai”.
It’s not erotic, it’s “Ecchi”.
It’s not pedophile, it’s “Lolicon”.
It’s not gay, it’s “Shonen-ai”.
It’s not slutty, it’s “Fan Service”.
It’s not costume, it’s “Cosplay”.
It’s not a dating show, it’s “Harem”.
It’s not a fetish, it’s “Moe”.
It’s not a bipolar girl, it’s “Tsundere”.
It’s not a drawing, it’s “Doujinshi”.
It’s not a schizophrenic girl, it’s “Yandere”.
It’s not sexual aberration, it’s “Eroguro”.
It’s not a sex game, it’s “Eroge”.
It’s not Chinese animation, it’s “Japanimation”.

Most Important…

I’m not a geek, I’m an “Otaku”.

8

Steamboy (2004) - dir. Katsuhiro Otomo

A wholly unique film that exemplifies what it is anime has to offer the world of cinema. Otomo’s blend of ornate hand-drawn images mixed wonderfully with computer animation results in one of the most visually appealing films of all time. It’s truly astounding to look at. Every scene. Every frame. It’s such a gorgeous animation style that there’s a guaranteed sensory overload upon first viewing… and I think that’s why so many have been turned off by Steamboy.

This steampunk-adventure tale is not the most riveting story out there… but the animation more than makes up for that. The plot moves quickly and efficiently enough to still be along for the ride by the end of everything.  It’s not perfect, but it is a testament to what anime has to offer.

8.4

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